Barry isn’t particularly a party person. He’s never been invited to any as a teenager, being the son of a supposed murderer and on top of that a super big nerd is kind of a buzzkill for social life. His usual Halloween evening is spent in front of the TV, usually with not that scary movie, since not even children get lost to his apartment building while trick-or-treating.
Of course, lots of aspects have changed in his life since he’s gotten involved with STAR Labs when the police department had needed their help a few months ago: he’s gained two new friends in the forms of Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow.
While Caitlin is about as outgoing as Barry, Cisco is extroverted enough for the three of them. He knows a lot of people and while they may need some time to get used to his quirky personality at first, they sure do all like him.
So it’s no surprise when Barry is invited to a Halloween party at Cisco’s. Of course he can’t decline (although he’s sure having to share a small flat with dozens of not only drunk but also costumed strangers won’t be the highlight of his life). Cisco would find a way to talk him into it and he’s sure if he were to stay at home, in the end he’s spend his whole night wondering what he’s missing out on.
Iris accompanies him. He’s not sure if he should be surprised or not that Cisco also knows a lot of her co-workers and invited them here.
They show up at Cisco’s place around nine, Iris dressed up as a cat by wearing a short black dress and a pair of extra ears on top of her head while has has simply bought one of those “funny” plastic swords supposed to look like someone’s stabbed right through your head. Of course it’s lame but he couldn’t think of anything better anyways and it’s not like he’s had a lot of time to prepare because he’s only decided the night before that he’ll go after all.
When Cisco opens the door, he smiles at them brightly and eyes them from head to feet. He leaves Barry’s outfit uncommented (thankfully) but playfully whistles at Iris. “Looking hot!”
Iris chuckles and says, “You not so much.”
Cisco grins and twirls around so they can see the back of his Frankenstein’s monster costume as well. It’s of course a pretty common costume, but the way Cisco portrays it reaches a whole new level. Must be perks of having access to all kinds of resources.
“Come in!”, he says and pulls them inside with a grip on their arms.
Once they’re inside, the first thing notices are people . He’s never have figured there’s enough room in Cisco’s flat for so many people. He recognizes a few people from the old college days and he’s sure he has seen a few led into the police department by Joe. Maybe Iris should stay away from them. Of course, there are also a bunch of people he doesn’t know and some who hide their faces entirely.
They accept the bottles of beer Cisco hands them before he tells them to have fun and disappears somewhere.
Barry blinks after him before Iris’ voice reaches his ears over the music and conversations. “Shall we look for someone we know?”
He nods immediately. If there’s somebody who knows how lost he can feel in a crowd of strangers, it’s her.
On their way to the living room, Barry dares to shoot a look into the kitchen to check if anyone is there. It’s only a lot of people he doesn’t know talking too loudly.
He lets out a sigh of relief when they enter the room and he sees Caitlin sitting on Cisco’s couch, a glass of whatever in her hand and laughing loudly.
Touching Iris’ arm to get her attention, he nods into her direction.
They’re lucky there’s room left on the couch, so they’ll have some place to sit down.
“Hey, Cait! you look good!”, Iris cheers when they can be sure they’ll hear each other, pointing at her Sally from Nightmare before Christmas costume.
“And you!”, Caitlin smiles.
“Nice outfit, Ronnie.”, Barry grins. “Albeit a bit old-fashioned.”
“Looked into a mirror recently, Barry?”, the ghost huffs. “How did you know it was me?”
Barry raises an eyebrow. “Caitlin is sitting on your lap.”
As a response they all break into laughter. Seems like it has been a good idea to come here after all.
After a while spent with talking, laughing and telling weird stories, his beer is empty and with a look around, he notices that the others could use new drinks, too.
“I’m gonna head to the kitchen. Anyone want something?”, he says while getting up.
Ronnie asks him to grab another two cups of cola + rum for both him and Caitlin and when he shoots a look at Iris, she gets up as well.
“I’m gonna look if I can find Mari somewhere.”, she tells him with a small smile that’s asking if that’s alright.
He nods for an answer. He’s found people to hang out with, so there’s no problem if she’s leaving in favour to have fun of her own. He’s taken up enough of her time already.
The head back to the kitchen together, making their way through talking people, and when Barry opens the door, he turns around to her immediately again after looking inside shortly -- just to see she’s gone already.
This is bad.
This is really bad.
He can’t possibly go into the kitchen. At least not on his own.
There’s only one person inside, which would probably be awkward itself already because it screams for a conversation, but it’s not just any person. No, this person is dressed up as a clown .
Barry hates clowns, he’s never understood how someone could possibly think it’s a great idea to put a horribly rouged man with a creepy pitched voice in front of a bunch of children. He can’t even watch The Simpsons without getting a sick feeling in his stomach whenever this weird clown guy appears.
Being alone in a room with one? The worst idea ever.
But he can’t just head back either, can he? He’s told Cait and Ronnie he’s get drinks for them and if he came back without any, they’d start asking questions. He knows they’re really nice, but he’s sure they wouldn’t understand his fear. He doesn’t wanna come of as a weirdo after only a few months of knowing them.
He takes a deep breath and opens the door again, peeking inside to see the clown is still standing there, leaning against the counter across from him. There’s no way he hasn’t noticed him by now.
So he gets inside.
“Uh, hi.”, he hears him say, a soft and soothing voice.
“Hi.”, Barry quickly says, looking down on the ground while he aims for the fridge.
“You alright?”, the man asks and Barry looks up shortly -- meets the plastic mask and looks down again immediately.
“Really?”, the man asks again and steps forward, probably to actually check up on him. Barry knows he means well, but that’s not good at all.
“Your costume-- it’s really good.”, he quickly says. “Scary.”
He’s pretty sure the man is raising an eyebrow now because for normal people there’s nothing scary about clowns. Instead of saying anything, he pulls off his mask. “That better?”
Barry looks up again, this time there’s no creepy as hell clown standing in front of him but a blond man with a really nice smile. He nods, still gulping. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be. I mean, Halloween is supposed to be scary but-- having you collapse wouldn’t be fun I guess.”
Barry gives him a small apologetic smile. “I’m gonna get my drinks real quick and then you can look properly again.” He didn’t mean to ruin anyone’s evening.
The stranger chuckles. “Nah, that thing was hard to breathe under anyway.”
Barry nods. “Maybe you should go outside for a while, the air’s not the best inside either. Too many people.”
“I guess.”, the stranger agrees. “Care to come with me? My ‘date’”, he makes quotation marks into the air, “left me alone.”
Barry stares at him for a moment, unsure how to react. He doesn’t even know the guy, even if he seems nice now, he could still be a mass murderer or whatever.
“I’ll leave the mask here, promise.”, he continues, raising his hands in defense and giving him a really cute smile.
If he didn’t know any better, he’d guess his brain has a short-cut at that. What are the chances he’s a mass murderer? He probably won’t be one if he lets go off his mask so easily. Plus, they’re on a party. Killing someone can’t be that easy on a party, can it?
He shrugs. “Alright, I guess. I just gotta bring my friends their drinks. They’re in the living room, though, and that’s on the way to the balcony.”
The stranger nods thoughtfully. Maybe he’s had a few drinks too much.
Barry takes three glasses, fills two of them with Ronnie has asked for and another with coke only. He didn’t plan to get drunk anyway, even if Cisco’s said he could crash here.
“Okay, come along, uh---”
“Eddie.”, the stranger says with another wide smile.
“Barry.”, he responds and lifts the glasses he’s barely able to hold up when Eddie extends his hand.
“Oh yeah, right.”, he responds and chuckles before he steps over and opens the door again.
They make their way through the party guests quite easily, he doesn’t know where they have gone but he’s pretty sure they’ve been a few more when he first got into the living room, and soon enough they’re both standing in front of Ronnie and Caitlin. Which means, Barry is standing in front of them and Eddie is somewhere behind him, probably looking around with drunk eyes.
“Here you go.”, he smiles at them and hands each of them their drinks.
Caitlin looks at Eddie behind him and raises an eyebrow at Barry. “Who’s that?”
“Uh…”, Barry’s not sure what to say, “I don’t know, but he could use some fresh air so I said I’ll look after him so he doesn’t fall off the balcony.”
“Good idea. He does have kind of glassy eyes.”
Barry nods and turns around, still his glass in his hand, and grabs Eddie’s arm with the other, leading him to the balcony before god-knows-what happens. Surprisingly enough, the balcony is empty as well, for some reason they must’ve all gone upstairs. Maybe Cisco’s has started a game of beer-pong or whatever.
“There you go.”, Barry sighs once the fresh air hits his face.
“You’re gonna stay, right?”, Eddie asks, some kind of vulnerability in his voice.
Barry shrugs. “Sure.”
“No clowns. Promise.”
“You still wear the whole outfit except for the mask.”, Barry reminds him.
Eddie looks down himself, at the big baggy pants and the purple shirt, the probably way too big shoes. “Shit. You okay?”
Barry chuckles at that. “Yeah, or else I wouldn’t be here, would I?”
“I guess not.”
“You drank a lot, didn’t you?”
Eddie seems to think about it for a moment before he shrugs. “Probably.”, then he shoots another grin at Barry while leaning back against the window sill. “So tell me, Barry, what’s that fear of clowns?”
Barry pouts. “Are you kidding me? They’re creepy as hell, they look like they eat children for breakfast.”
Eddie nods. “True. I don’t like spiders.”
“Does anybody really?”
“I guess.”, Eddie shrugs. “There are people who have spiders as pets. As Pets, Barry!”
“Scandalous.”, Barry says but can’t hide a smile. He’s not sure if Eddie really is that adorable or if it’s just the alcohol speaking. “I’d never have a spider as my pet.”
Eddie looks at him with wide eyes. “Promise?”
Barry chuckles but nods. “Promise.”
“You’re the best!”, Eddie cheers as if they’d known each other for years already. Definitely wasted. Barry wouldn’t even have guessed so much at first.
“Okay, how about you take a sip of this coke here?”, Barry asks and lifts his glass.
Eddie nods enthusiastically and takes it out of his hand, almost finishing it with one sip only.
“Do you know Cisco or one of his friends?”, Barry asks. Of course, he doesn’t know all of Cisco’s friends but he’s sure Eddie would’ve caught his eye in a facebook photo or something.
Eddie shakes his head. “My friend knows him. I think? Who’s Cisco?”
“The dude who’s flat this is. His party?”
“Oh yeah! No, I don’t think I know him.”
Bummer ., a part of Barry thinks. “Oh, okay. Who’s your friend? Maybe we can find him?”
“I think she went upstairs.”, Eddie says with a shrug. “I wanna stay here. You’re nice.”
“‘Course she is. But you’re cool, too. And cute. I mean, she’s too.”, eddie says quickly. “But she has a boyfriend. Do you have a relationship?”
Barry opens his mouth in surprise at the question. This is a stranger he’s just met like half an hour ago. Nobody has ever told him he’s cute - Iris not counting - and it’s weird to have someone ask him this directly… but it’s a bit nice, too. He chuckles softly and shakes his head. “No, I don’t.”
“That’s weird.”, is the only thing Eddie responds.
They stay on the balcony for a while, side by side leaning against the sill. They don’t talk but Eddie is most certainly not trying to kill him, so Barry doesn’t feel the need to get inside again.
He doesn’t know how much time passes until the door gets opened again and a familiar head peeks outside.
“Eddie?”, Mari, Iris’ co-worker, asks. “Oh, hi Barry.”
Eddie turns towards her, looking from her back to Barry. “Mari! You know Barry?”
Mari raises an eyebrow. “Yeah, I do.”
“Why don’t you ever talk about him! He’s so nice!”
Barry feels a blush creeping up to his face now that someone else is there to here Eddie’s opinion on him.
“You’re drunk, Ed.”
“No, I’m less drunk now! And Barry’s still cool! Don’t you think he is?”, Eddie protests.
Mari’s eyes flicker over to Barry and she starts grinning when she sees how embarrassed he is. “No, Barry’s alright. Listen, we gotta get home and then you can meet him again when you’re sober.”
“Yes,” Mari nods. “Better get inside and look for your mask.”
Eddie smiles and nods as well. “Bye, Barry!”
“Have a good night, Eddie.”, Barry replies with a small smile and then he watches him leave again.
Mari stays for a while longer and eyes him. “He gets quite… affectionate when drunk.”
“He usually means it, though. I’m not even sure he was that drunk, though. Anyway, he’ll probably ask for you tomorrow.”, she continues and her smile grows wider as she sees him blushing again. “Shall I give him your number if he asks?”
Does he really want a stranger to have his number? Eddie could be completely different when sober. Maybe he is a mass murderer after all, just not when he’s drunk. But then again, he’s friends with Mari. Barry knows Mari from when he scoots by at Jitters and she’s always been nice. She wouldn’t be friends with a mean person, would she?
“Um… I guess?”
“Sweet!”, Mari cheers. “I guess he’ll text you by tomorrow night then.”
“Does he do that often?”, Barry can’t help but ask.
Mari shakes her head. “Not that I know.”
“Cool.”, Barry replies, not sure what else to respond. “His mask is in the kitchen, by the way.”
“Yeah, I guess I should check up on him. Bye, Barry!”
“Bye. and… thanks, I guess.”
“Any time.”, she responds with a grin and then she’s gone, too.
He takes a deep breath once he’s alone again. That was a pretty weird night. But it certainly wasn’t as boring as all of his other Halloweens. And the best of all: a hot stranger told him he’s cute. That’s something, isn’t it?